CLEVELAND — The life and service of Cleveland Bishop emeritus Anthony Pilla is being remembered this week. Pilla passed away last week at the age of 88.
The funeral for Bishop Pilla began with vespers at 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 1007 Superior Ave., Cleveland. Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Roger Gries, OSB was the presider. Bishop Martin Amos, retired bishop of Davenport, Iowa, was the homilist.
The wake continues until 7 p.m. in the cathedral.
Bishop Pilla's funeral Mass will then take place on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Bishop Edward C. Malesic will be the main celebrant, with Father Edward Estok, pastor of St. Albert the Great Parish in North Royalton, as homilist. Interment will be in the Resurrection Chapel in the cathedral.
Pilla served as the Bishop of Cleveland from 1981 through 2006. He had been Cleveland's Bishop Emeritus since retiring in 2006.
A Cleveland native, Bishop Pilla was born on Nov. 12, 1932. He attended Cathedral Latin High School in Cleveland before graduating in 1951 from St. Gregory Seminary High School in Cincinnati. Bishop Pilla attended St. Gregory Seminary College in Cincinnati before graduating from Borromeo College in Wickliffe in 1955. In 1959, he graduated from Saint Mary Seminary in Cleveland.
On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Mike DeWine released the following statement about the passing of Bishop Pilla:
"Fran and I were saddened to learn of the death of Bishop Anthony Pilla. Bishop Pilla was a devoted servant of the Lord who cared deeply for the people of Northeast Ohio. He was one of them. And as Bishop, his relationship with the people of the diocese was as personal and meaningful as the relationship between a parish priest and his congregation. He grew up in Cleveland and led the diocese for a quarter of a century. In addition, Bishop Pilla was president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1995-1998 and was the second Ohioan and second non-Cardinal/Archbishop to lead the group. Bishop Pilla was a personal friend of Fran’s and mine, and we will miss him very much."
You can watch Monday's services in the player below: